Thursday, January 31, 2008

white dagoba

After Tian Tan, we hopped in a taxi with hopes to see Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. However, our taxi driver insisted that the area was closed off for a diplomat and offered to take us to a "very old" temple instead. With many a misgivings, we agreed and were then subjected to the mandatory Chinese taxi rip-off(where they drive you around and around). While it was slightly annoying, I mainly chalked it up to experience and realized it was pretty amazing that it hadn't happened before.

So, our unscrupulous taxi driver dropped us off at what I think was the Miaoying Temple White Dagoba. Of course, we didn't know this at the time, but I deduced as much from my guidebook later. We were given a complimentary tour guide with the price of admission, but he didn't speak and English so Jen worked as translator with amusing results.

For example, when the tour guide spoke at great length at each of these locations, Jen's version was as follows:

"This is a gold Buddha..."

"in a very old building. This building is old. Very old."

"This path and archway is old, too."

"I think he said this Buddha is not so old."

"But that white thing? That's what this place is famous for. And this is the end of the tour. Thank you. Goodbye."

Needless to say, I think some things were lost in translation.

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